Perched on the tropical North-East coast of Australia, Cairns is bursting with culture, wildlife, and world-renowned natural beauty spots.
The city boasts not one, but two World Heritage-listed areas; the Great Barrier Reef, and the world's oldest tropical rainforest. The city itself dates back to 1876, and has grown rapidly from its origins as a small sugarcane exporting town to the buzzing, lively city that it is now.
Cairns provides the closest access to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef on Earth. If you want to dive into warm waters and explore a kaleidoscopic underwater world, then Cairns is the perfect destination.
If you are looking for a more relaxed Cairns holiday, which still includes the option to snorkel over the reef or admire the ancient rainforest, then the secluded haven of Port Douglas is a perfect destination. Fronted by the golden sands of Four Mile Beach, and enclosed by an emerald cluster of tropical greenery covered mountains, Port Douglas is the ultimate Australian escape.
Due to Cairns' tropical climate, it naturally has a monsoon season. To avoid the heavy rainfall, visits are best planned between June and October.
Although this is Australia's winter, daytime temperatures still average in the high twenties, so no need to worry; you can definitely leave your thermals at home.
Between the tropical rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian outback, and the city itself, would-be adventurers will never find themselves bored of exploring Cairns.
The range of activities available on the Reef alone is almost endless, from boat trips to explore coral islands and cays, to whale watching, to exhilarating helicopter rides to see the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from above, to guided scuba-diving on the opulent reef - allowing you to get up close and personal with the 1500 species of fish that live there.
On lazier, languid, beach days, make sure to visit Cairns' esplanade. In this hotspot you will find not only a beautiful swimming lagoon, but barbecue areas, a range of sporting pitches and parks, and daily free exercise and yoga classes in and around the lagoon.
Cairns has a wealth of restaurants, cafes and bistros, which together provide an unmissable opportunity to experience a globe of cuisine in one city.
Cairns' specialities lie in fresh seafood and Asian cuisine; for an exquisite taste of both, try Cherry Blossom Japanese Restaurant, which has been serving fresh seafood and sushi to locals and tourists alike since 1987.
To drink, try a smooth, creamy flat white in one of Cairns' many esteemed coffee houses, or drop into the Blue Mango Cafe Wine Bar for a delicious cocktail accompanied by smooth live jazz.
Other than its twelve cinemas and two theatres, Cairns has a full range of nightlife options for everyone. Watch movies and sip cocktails from the pool in Gilligan's on Grafton street, or party the night away at any of the bars and clubs on Spence street.
For something different and spectacular, take a Cairns Harbour sunset cruise, or enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner that you will never forget in the breath taking setting of the rainforest.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.